Do I want to be in therapy (for 3 years)?

I got my place at Goldsmiths. This September, I start a part time MA in Art Psychotherapy. Or do I?

I think I just have to go for it and worry about the reality later. But, its going to be full on. Two days a week for three years, getting on the train at 7a.m. – up to East Croydon, change for New Cross. That’s £34 on train fares before 9.30a.m. twice a week. Then I have to be in therapy for the next three years. That’s another £40 a week – at least. Do I want to be in therapy? for that long? That’s an awful lot of talking. No not really. And anyway, I’ve already ‘done it’ twice.

The first time was when I was about 21 and loosing my mind with all the anthropology I was learning. It totally blew my vague grasp on reality. Learning that everything is a social construction can take its toll. Living everything as if it is a social construction, there in lies…loosing it. And I did. To be fair, I was also probably out of my depth with some of the people I was hanging out with. I never put two and two together when they were off travelling round Europe in their VW camper vans, or hanging out on Anjuna beach for the whole of the summer holidays. I thought we were all the same more or less. But, I didn’t have holidays, I had to earn money to pay off debts and to live. I didn’t have time to learn bongo drums, I was working in Falmer bar and the Crypt every other night. I had a good time. I liked it, mostly. It was only RockSoc nights that I didn’t like. In fact I hated them. Terrible music, and really loud.

The second time I went to counselling, I was intervening on my own behalf. I was trying to give myself a bit of space to process the end of a long relationship and the beginning of a new life – I was being mature and sensible. Unfortunately the women I saw was not. I felt she was colluding with me at times – which was never going to do me any favours. So, if I go to Goldsmiths I would have to find a shit hot therapist, and then start to process the last 10 years of my life – I don’t relish that. Not, as it happens, at all!

In addition, I need to find a studio space and to get my act together on the artistic front. I’ve got the ball rolling with this already. I am secretary, don’t you know, of the all new, ‘Parents Artists Group’. A Brighton based newly forming group of parents who are also artists and want to make work. At the moment we are a select bunch looking for space in Fabrica and at the Phoenix. Our aims are simple: to support each other to find space and time for creative expression.

We want to start an experimental programme of creating work in collaboration. We expect that our membership will be no more than 10-12, artists (parents) from a variety of art forms (dance, drama, writing, textiles, painting and sculpture). We will apply for funding to carry out a pilot programme consisting of around 6 sessions to plan and make artwork. All bodies of artwork produced during those sessions will, we hope, be exhibited to the public in a group exhibition. The themes may be parenthood and art and the struggle to find the balance and explore the tensions in both – on a daily basis. However, the actual focus of the work will evolve through a process of working together.

So that’s all good. Art stuff is being pursued. That leaves finding funds to pay for the MA and for getting Winifred into nursery at least two days a week. That’s £37 per day! Also, it means for the next three years (!) I am going to be a nightmare to be around while I struggle to manage my life, my relationship, my child, my future. Any thoughts anyone?


  1. Right a list of pros and cons – add up the costs and look at the list. Highlight problem areas and can you overcome these and then sleep on it and again and again till your sure!!!Last thing never take any advice from me what do I know!!!! x

  2. Mmmm– well all sounds a bit self punishing to me. and you know my views on psychotherapy that is exclusive and elitist and thinks the therapist knows the answer- I think the only researched and practicaly effective therapy rests on the good relationship between the therapist and the client whatever technique or methodology or theoretcal basis is used. I think you have that capacity already- Still Congratulations on getting on the course thats great and if that's what you feel is best for you then thats all good and more power to you. And if you're going to practise on other people then of course yes you should do the same thing yourself. all best with it all. maybe a couple of such sessions before you commit to it? I guess creative counselling courses would be a lot cheaper but you sound like you value the academic more highly – whatever– you'll do it well as you allways do. Trust your gut but make sure its been well fed first. xxEddi

  3. I do not believe it – I worte a long comment and it just disappeared! I write this to see if the same thing will happen. dringle

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